In A Nutshell:
Helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in partnership with their families, the opportunity to live, work, and play via vocational services, residential care, and recreational activities.
Why They Rock:
- The Donation Center: clothing and household items donation hub which are sold to the Savers Thrift Store and revenue from sales goes directly back into programs. They call over 40,000 telephone numbers each week for donations!
- RAVE: year round recreation and social opportunities which include art classes, bike riding, learning hobbies, themed dinner nights, rafting, sightseeing, cultural events, and dances. Vacation packages are also available which vary from mountain camping to Alaskan cruises.
- Vocational Services: provide work for individuals with significant disabilities via outsourcing from local businesses; and provide job opportunities in the community at hotels, recycling plants, and many more locations.
The people of The Arc and town of Boise treated 50Give like a rock star: amazing accommodations to rest after a 14 hour drive, newspaper and TV media pumping up the tour, and a homemade welcome banner crafted for 50Give…I should have stayed longer and sent my stunt double to finish the tour.
Early morning at The Arc headquarters, hard-working and passionate Arc member Nicole took me for a tour of the facility and it’s the first time a squirrel joined a tour – INSIDE their call center…yes, the little dudes like to run in and out looking for food – no soup for you! Onward to the daily meeting where staff and participants discuss the day…I got tons of high-fives, hugs, and even some spontaneous singing of “God Bless America”…he was good! Fox news arrived and I gave a few words on the tour and they filmed me helping with morning vocational activities…next I headed for a group bike ride!
Kind and energetic Ashley drove our crew down to a serene park where we met cheerful Sonya, an Adapted Recreation Specialist with Boise Parks & Recreation…she gave me the hand-bike (it was like a go-kart without an engine – my Mario Kart skills came in handy). I was mainly the ‘Caboose Bike Patrol’ helping keep our bike-train on the path…everybody had a blast, and I then cruised to have a complimentary lunch with staff and a board member at tasty Willow Creek.
In the afternoon, I helped informative and easy-going Deneil with the production of a new product of The Arc for dogs called B’Arc Bones. Mix the ingredients, smoosh the dough, cut-out dog bone shapes, bake and dehydrate…viola – yummy treats that are even edible for humans!
Boise hospitality started late in the evening after driving from Wyoming and Nicole greeted me at the Boise Guest House with an amazing gift basket and she stocked the frig with goodies from the Boise Co-Op (included local beers from Laughing Dog Brewing)! The accommodations were overwhelming: full kitchen, complimentary bicycles, and you signed the guest book on an old typewriter. After a long few days my chill-cat contact Tiffany, and Nicole treated me to a relaxing evening at 13th Street Bar and Grill in hip Hyde Park, and the next morning I experienced one of the best runs in my LIFE in the foothills of Camel’s Back Park…peaceful trails that overlook the city with the occasional doggie fly-by.
50Give helped give The Arc the well-deserved spotlight for the day, although the rock stars currently in town are the Boise State Broncos football team who are nationally ranked and play on the famous blue turf (yes, actually blue). Hopefully Boise will also cheer for Arc participants who are proud of their community and are available for WORK – call in the play for The Arc!
Fox 12 Idaho
“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.” ~ Martina Navratilova